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Screw removal following a plateau fracture of tibia
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Screw removal following a plateau fracture of tibia

About 20 months ago I had a bad plateau fracture of my tibia, fibula also broken.  All bones are nicely healed, but the screws at the height of my knee are very long and are rubbing the soft tissue.  Is it possible to just cut the ends of the screws off?  Or will I have to have them removed?  The inside of my knee is really uncomfortable.

Thank you for your thoughts
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello!

I would suggest you to go for latest scans to understand healing and if the hardware is irritating or compromising your physical activities. You can always consider getting your hardware removed totally if the healing is complete so follow up with your orthopedic surgeon.

Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comment.  The break has healed extremely well, much better than my doctor expected, just have discomfort from the screws being so long.  Can just the ends of the screws be cut off?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello. I,too, am loaded w/hardware that is painful & am planning on having it all removed.(tib/fib fractures Nov.2008) I am not a Dr. however, I do not believe they can cut off the screw heads.#1.it would be just as easy to remove them.#2 If the screw heads were removed and you had another injury to that leg how would they remove that nail? Just my thoughts.Good luck with your continued healing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for taking the time to comment on my question.  I am trying not to have all of the h/w removed since there are so many screws in my leg that I will be non-weight bearing for several weeks after the surgery to remove.
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Avatar_f_tn
When are you having the hardware removed?  Do you know how long the incision will be?  Will it be as long as the original incision to install it was?

Thanks,
ab609
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey,how is everything going? I'm not sure when I am having the surgery. -I live in Canada &am on a waiting list-I would assume within the next few months. I actually have an appt. w/ my surgeon tomorrow & will ask about the incisions for removal.We have chose to remove it all as I am having all kinds of pain and have some mobility issues. I do know however, that alot of people opt to get just the screws out.-This can be done in an outpatient setting with very little down time- Hope this is of some help.                                                    Take Care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Please tell me how your doctor's visit went.  How many screws and plates do you have?  I have 10 screws and 2 plates so am worried about the down time if I have them removed. So sorry that you have to wait so long before you can have your surgery, best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,how's your day been?  My appt. was fairly uneventful & very frustrating! I have been on the waiting list for the hardware removal since Nov.& was told today that my surgery would probably be in JUNE!!!-got to love the Canadian healthcare system!- Anyway,from your last entry I have realized that our legs were put together a little differntly. I have an IM Nail (a rod in my tibia from my knee to my ankle) 7 screws and one plate on my fibula from where my bone graft was done. & yes all incisions are opened w/the exception of any that where placed to help w/the alignment during surgery.(don't know if you would have any of these)On a positive note,recovery time is minimal,people usually walking without crutches within a week. Who knew that one slip and fall would turn in to such an education! Ha-ha! Best of luck to you as well! & keep me posted on any of your findings.    Misery loves company! Ha!  Take Care.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, you have to wait until June!  I am so sorry, but the time will go quickly.  That sounds like a lot of cutting but I am glad that you will be walking without crutches within the week.  I am truly and seriously rethinking having anything done!  I will just continue to try to strengthen everything and maybe I won't even need anything at all.  Have a bad toe as well but have found an exercise agent which is really stretching the foot out and making the toe lie down as it should so that surgery is not going to happen!
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